“Governance, peace and security are important to measure – and they are measurable”. This was the conclusion reached by African statistical offices already producing statistics on these issues, at a meeting held at the African Union on 11-12 June, which brought together 90 experts, including representatives from 24 African National Statistical Offices, data specialists on peace and governance, African Union Commission (AUC) officials, policymakers, civil society organizations and UN agencies.
The ACTION Support Centre was represented at the meeting and made input into the discussions aimed at taking forward the Post-2015 Development Agenda component of our work.
Drawing on pioneering work on statistics on governance, peace, and security currently taking place in the region, including the AUC’s Strategy for the Harmonization of Statistics in Africa’s (SHaSA) Group on Governance, Peace and Security (GPS), the City Group on Governance, Peace and Security statistics, the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM), the Continental Early Warning System (CEWS), Ushahidi and the G7+ grouping, the consultation reviewed the formulation of peace, governance, and rule of law targets proposed by the UN’s Open Working Group (OWG) on Sustainable Development Goals, proposed measurable and relevant indicators, and discussed emerging innovative data collection methods. The meeting also served to inform ongoing efforts by the AUC to define specific targets and indicators aligned with the Peace and Security pillar of the Common African Position on the post-2015 Agenda.
By showcasing the emerging success in Africa of the SHaSA GPS group and other initiatives, the meeting showed that measurement of progress in these areas is not only feasible in a wide range of country contexts, but also in high demand by the political leadership of many countries. SHaSA and other African-owned and led initiatives support the call for a ‘data revolution’ as a central tenet of the post-2015 development agenda. They also offer important models to examine in the context of goal 16 proposed by the OWG, on “Achieving peaceful and inclusive societies, rule of law, effective and capable institutions.”
The consultation was co-organized by the Statistical Division of the African Union Commission, the United Nations Development Programme, and Saferworld in collaboration with the African Development Bank, UN Economic Commission for Africa, UN Women, UN Office for Drugs and Crime, UN Peacebuilding Support Office with support from the Government of Finland.
A full report on the outcomes of the meeting is available on request from the ACTION Support Centre.